A new global “soft power” ranking recently reported that the democratic states of North America and Western Europe were the most successful at achieving their diplomatic objectives “through attraction and persuasion”. Countries such as the US, the UK, Germany and Canada, the report claimed, are able to promote their influence through language, education, culture and the media...
Around a third of Saudi scholarship students in the UK are female, many of them outstanding scholars, creative artists and filmmakers. They are a massive soft-power asset that could aid Saudi Arabia address foreign public opinion about how Saudi women are benefiting from greater political, social and economic roles. Saudi diplomacy with the UK is mostly mediated by elites.
The British Council has unveiled a series of cultural and educational programs aimed at promoting its 'Year of Culture' to be observed across India and UK in 2017. These will include student scholarships, partnerships between Indian and British universities and a roadshow on Shakespeare - the most enduring literary and cultural icon that unites the two countries.
On Boris Johnson and Britain's post-Brexit soft power.
A special cultural exchange programme that connected 17 state schools in Rio de Janeiro with schools in other countries around the world concluded with a special ceremony on Tuesday at the award-winning Art Museum of Rio. Launched in February this year by the Rio 2016 organising committee, the Conexão Transforma project has built lasting bridges between Brazil and schools in 17 countries.
In an exchange programme launched by the British Council, students from the UK would soon get an opportunity to learn and understand the Indian culture through various short-term courses. According to a report in TOI, out of a group of 500 students, 50 will be joining the University of Kerala for a two-week-long course in Indian Studies.
By installing Johnson at the Foreign Office, May has brought in her own little Nixon – ready for the day she needs to go to China. The problem with all this political logic is that it’s for domestic use only. It’s not what the rest of the world sees. And, remember, that’s what this job is for: to be our nation’s chief diplomat, our face to the nations of the earth. It’s not just another piece on the Westminster chessboard.